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UFC President Dana White: ‘Our Roster is Too Full’

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Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Recently, fighters in the UFC have been demanding more fights. This could prove to be difficult considering UFC President Dana White’s recent comments regarding the UFC roster.

“Our roster is too full,” White said as he explained to reporters at the Toyota Center in Houston after UFC 166. It seems that it is difficult for the UFC to fill in enough fights for everyone with only such limited air time.

“Guys have to get fights.”

A majority of fighters in the UFC hope to fight at least three times a year. Unfortunately, many young and unestablished UFC fighters get to fight only once a year, and it can be very difficult for anyone to make a living off of only one payday a year. To the surprise of many, this problem isn’t new.

Dana White has apologized to fighters in the past for not being able to get them enough fights. Just as recently as December of last year, White apologized to a group of fighters from Strikeforce who were forced to sit idle as the fate of the promotion was uncertain for some period of time.   Yet the always outspoken White assured them that once the business side of things was sorted out, those fighters would have the opportunity to get more fights. Unfortunately, not everyone gets a slice of the pie.

There has to be some sort of sacrificial lamb or lambs for other fighters to get more fights. As of recently, one of those sacrificial lambs was Japanese ground-and-pounder Yushin Okami. White insisted that it was nothing personal with Okami.

“Guys like (Yushin) Okami – I like Okami a lot. He’s a great guy,” White said. “But when guys lose, (or) when guys are at certain points in their career, or whatever it might be, guys have to be cut to thin this roster out, so guys like Dodson can continue to fight.”

White was referring to John Dodson who won knockout of the night at UFC 166. Dodson was one of the fighters begging the UFC to get more fights.

It seems that the more fighters the UFC has, the more problems it has. White explained how when they have fighters who sit idle and don’t fight, the UFC has to pay them some money, even though they’re not competing, and that hurts their wallet. It’s also bad for fighters because they want to spend their prime years fighting and gaining experience, not sitting idle.

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Steve Sohanaki
Steve became interested in combat sports when he joined his high school’s wrestling team as freshman. His experience as a wrestler sparked his interest in mixed martial arts when he recognized the compatibility between the two sports. From there, he continued to wrestle all throughout college until he earned his bachelor’s degree in history. Steve’s interests in combat sports center mostly around grappling, but he’s also interested in the history of the sport and where it’s headed in the future.
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